Developing Artist Program

Joules the Fox performing at Fanshawe College Spotlight Showcase

The FMO Developing Artist Program (formerly known as the FMO Youth Program) is an opportunity like no other. Participants learn directly through one-on-one mentorship with established artists, sharpen industry knowledge and technical skills at workshops and master classes, and integrate into a welcoming community at Canada’s largest annual Folk Music industry gathering. 

The program is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region between ages 18 and 25. Participants are chosen for their interest, ability and experience.

Past mentors include AHI, Kaia Kater, Quique Escamilla, YAO, Dayna Manning, Lynn Miles, Julian Taylor, Cécile Doo-Kingué, Leonard Sumner, Graydon James, The Good Lovelies, Bob Wiseman, and Brian Kobayakawa.

Past participants include artists such as Annie Sumi, Missy Bauman, Tim Jackson, Joëlle Villeneuve, Campbell Woods, Moscow Apartment, Kaia Kater, Ariana Gillis, The Lifers, Nabi Loney (Ellevator), and Benjamin Dakota Rogers.

2022 Program Participants

Mentors: Dayna Manning, Sophie Lukacs, Mikhail Laxton, Madeleine Roger 
Artists: Emma Lamontagne, Zack Elliott, Marianne Keuleman, Lauryn Macfarlane, Bella Francis, Sofia Duhaime, George Crotty & Oisin Hannigan, Leah Holtom

How It Works

The program features online networking, one-on-one mentorship, and learning sessions, that take place over the summer months prior to the conference, with opportunities for one-on-one mentoring, workshops, showcasing, and further networking at the FMO conference.  

Selected participants will be offered a complimentary registration to the 2023 Folk Music Ontario Conference, and will receive an honorarium for their participation. During the application process, eligible applicants will be able to apply for the Taylor Mitchell Bursary, which awards a $500 Bursary to a selected applicant. For more information about the Taylor Mitchell Bursary, please see the Awards page.


In the weeks leading up to the conference, participants will take part in workshops via Zoom, meeting other artists and learning directly from industry experts. These sessions will train artists in topics such as marketing, licensing, preparing a release, touring/shows and more. At least one session will be dedicated to Conference 101: networking, showcasing, and making the most of the event.  


All participants in the Developing Artist Program will be invited to showcase at the Folk Music Ontario Conference, taking place October 12-15th, 2023, in London Ontario. Using the skills learned in the pre-conference sessions, participants take part in all conference activities, as well as program-specific sessions such as:  

  • Interacting in one-on-one meetings with assigned mentors participating in professional development activities 
  • Developing a showcase performance 
  • Performing a showcase 
  • Networking events with industry professionals

If you or someone you know are interested in getting more information about the Developing Artists Program, please feel free to contact us using the form below:

    This program is made possible through the generous support of Ontario Creates

    This program is made possible through the generous support of Ontario Creates